Requiring Customer Registration – Are You Losing Sales?

I’ve never been a fan of websites that require customers to register in order to place an order. It really negates the impulse-shopping tendencies that consumers have and, as a merchant, the last thing I want to do is stand in the way of my *potential* customers checking out. I say potential because, well, they haven’t bought anything yet.

Imagine that the customer is at the cash register of your brick-and-mortar store, and you ask them to fill out a form or answer questions that you will be entering into your computer system before they check out. What do you think will happen? Most will say, “I’m outta here!” In effect, this is what retailers are doing when they ask the customer to create an account before they can purchase.

Most retailers are getting around this now by letting the customer purchase as a guest. If they want to come back and re-enter all their information, they will. It’s really that simple. They like what they bought from you the first time, had a good customer experience both online and offline, and if they are in the market, they will shop again.

So why do some retailers still have this requirement on their website? I don’t really know. Some marketing people say it’s because they want to make sure that they have the customer’s information…or so the customer can track the order. Well, technology has caught up, and sites now let customer track their order without requiring them to register or have an account. And you can still have the customer’s complete information in order to market to them after they have made their purchase.

I understand that it would be necessary to have the customer register for awards programs and such, but you can still offer this after the fact. Get the money, and by that, I mean the order, first. Take care of them and they’ll be back.

I would love to get some feedback from both customers and merchants about this business practice. Does your website require customer to create an account before they can buy, if so what was the thought process behind this? If you’re a customer that has purchased or abandoned a website that had this requirement, is it a deal breaker or no big deal?

By: Shirley Tan

2 Responses to Requiring Customer Registration – Are You Losing Sales?


Start Getting More Repeat Business Today!

Sign up for notification of our special offers and training schedules.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Does Your Marketing Plan Suck?

A Little? OR A LOT?

And how much better would it be if we fixed it?

Learn More